Zurich Fest: Female Directors Front-and-Center in German-Language Sidebar

Festival de Cannes/PA
The dark drama "Nothing Bad Can Happen" premiered in Cannes.

Katrin Gebbe's "Nothing Bad Can Happen," which premiered in Cannes, is among the five features in the lineup that were directed by women.

BERLIN – Female voices will be in focus at this year's Zurich Film Festival, with five out of the eight features picked for the event's German-language feature section directed by women.

Katrin Gebbe's critically-acclaimed debut Nothing Bad Can Happen (Tore Tanzt), which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section in Cannes this year, is heading to Zurich, as its Frauke Finsterwalder's debut Finsterworld, a dark take on the traditionally comforting German Heimatfilm genre. Heimatfilm movies were popular in the German-speaking world in the 1940s through the 1970s and typically featured simple stories of love, friendship and family in an outdoor setting of forests and mountains.

Two further first-timers, Katharina Muckstein and Isabell Suba, come to Zurich with, respectively, the mother-daughter tale Talea and the film industry critique Maenner zeigen Filme & Frauen ihre Brueste (Men Show Films & Women Their Breasts).

Meanwhile, Lola Randl brings her third feature to Zurich, The Invention of Love. The story of the film's production is even more dramatic than its plot: 26-year-old lead actress Maria Kwiatkowsky was found dead in her apartment shortly after she had begun work on the film. Director Randl rewrote the movie and began shooting a year later.

Rounding out the German-language competition section at the Zurich festival are Bastian Gunther's Texas-set corporate drama Houston featuring The Lives of Others actor Ulrich Tukur; the brothers drama Nordstrand from Florian Eichinger; and Marc Rensing's Die Frau Die Sich Traut, about a one-time competitive swimmer who, despite receiving a cancer diagnosis, tries to fulfill her dream of swimming the English Channel.

Acclaimed German actress Veronica Ferres (Rossini) will head up this year's German feature jury, together with X Filme producer Manuela Stehr (Good Bye, Lenin!); veteran Swiss writer/director Rolf Lyssy (The Swissmakers) and German producer Jochen Laube (The Day I Was Not Born).